The Princess flower (Tibouchina urvilleana, also referred to as Tibouchina semidecandra) is a native to Brazil and South America. It is prized for its large purple flowers and leaves which are soft and hairy, adding a touch of color to gardens and landscaping. This plant grows to an average height of 12 to 15 feet tall, 5 to 6 feet wide. The Princess Flower can be propagated by asexual reproduction which does not require fertilization of the flower. The princess flower can grow from cuttings, trims of the individual branches, and in the right conditions, without special needs.
Step 1 – Trim the cuttings
Cutting means removing a piece from the parent plant where that piece will then regrow the lost parts or tissues. New plants can be grown from parts of plants because each living plant cell contains the ability to duplicate all plant parts and functions. Princess flowers are propagated by softwood cuttings.
Softwood cuttings are taken from younger branches that have not yet become woody or hard. Late spring and early summer are the best times for successful cutting. Perform cuttings after a rain or when water is applied in the cool morning. Take care to keep these tender shoots from drying out. Make a diagonal cut in the branch. A longer diagonal cut opens more area of the branch to develop roots. Keep cuttings in water before moving them into rooting soil. It is best to keep the length of the cutting anywhere from 2 to 10 inches long. Longer cuttings will produce larger plants sooner. Make cuts slightly below a leaf node. Insert cuttings vertically in moist soil. Cuttings should be kept in warm moist conditions. A callus may form on the lower cut end when stored. Callus formation indicates that cuttings are ready to root.
Step 3 – Plant in the pot or container
Plant in soils with good drainage that are slightly acidic. Water enough to keep the soil moist. Princess flowers are warm weather plants. If kept indoors after cutting, place in a sunny area to maintain the temperature. If necessary, tie a plastic bag around the cutting to maintain temperature and encourage growth.
Step 4 – Leave in bright sun for best growth
Transfer to the garden when growth has been established. Be sure to fertilize for best flowering and growth. Mixing more than one variety will provide strong purple color at different levels. After planting, they may seem to lack the will to grow for a season or two, but then suddenly take off.